Page last updated at 21:20 GMT, Thursday, 20 November 2008

Pc on BNP member list suspended

BNP leader Nick Griffin
BNP leader Nick Griffin said the party had lodged a complaint over the leak

A Merseyside Police officer whose name was included on a list of British National Party (BNP) members has been suspended from duty.

Pc Steve Bettley was listed in a leaked membership document published online.

Merseyside Police specifically bans all its officers from membership of the BNP, Combat 18 and the National Front.

A force spokesman said Pc Bettley had returned from holiday to co-operate with their inquiry and had been suspended from duty.

The spokesman added: "Merseyside Police can confirm that the police officer is subject to an ongoing internal investigation into his alleged association with the BNP has today been suspended from duty.

"We would like to reiterate we will keep an open mind until the facts around the alleged investigation have been established."

The officer once worked for a six-week period as a personal driver for the force's chief constable, Bernard Hogan Howe.

'Court action'

Pc Bettley was included in a list of thousands of BNP supporters which was leaked on an internet blog.

His name was part of the main entry of a family member.

Officers have been banned from joining or promoting the BNP to prevent damaging race relations, according to the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo).

The list, which was removed from the original blog where it was posted but remains available on other websites, names a number of current and former servicemen, along with ex-policemen.

BNP leader Nick Griffin pledged to take court action against those behind the leak.

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